Music Theory

From the 2012-2013 catalog:

MUSI 1311. Theory of Music I. (3-0-3). Part writing of figured bass and melody harmonizations requiring all diatonic triads, dominant seventh and supertonic seventh chords and non-harmonic tones. Keyboard study of harmonic progressions and melody harmonizations. Students must take MUSI 1116, Ear Training and Sight Singing I, concurrently. (R)

MUSI 1312. Theory of Music II. (3-0-3). Continuation of MUSI 1311, Theory of Music I. Students must take MUSI 1117, Ear Training and Sight Singing II, concurrently. Prerequisite: MUSI 1311, Theory of Music I. (R)

MUSI 2311. Theory of Music III. (3-0-3). Part Writing of figured bass and melody harmonizations requiring diatonic seventh chords and modulations. Styles of writing other than chorale style. Studies in two- and three-part song form. Keyboard study of harmonic progressions and melody harmonizations. Students must take MUSI 2116, Ear Training and Sight Singing I, concurrently. Prerequisite: MUSI 1312, Theory of Music II. (R)

MUSI 2312. Theory of Music IV. (3-0-3). Continuation of MUSI 2311, Theory of Music III. Students must take MUSI 2118, Ear Training and Sight Singing IV, concurrently. Prerequisite: MUSI 2311, Theory of Music III. (R)

Music theory classes are intended primarily for music majors but are open to all students. Each course includes a companion Eartraining and Sightsinging course, which acts like a “lab” for the course. If “music is a language,” then music theory and eartraining classes are where you learn music’s grammar and vocabulary, including the construction of chords and scales. Music theory courses are primarily concerned with the “visual” aspect of learning about music (i.e., learning to write chords and scales on paper, on a music staff). Eartraining and Sightsinging classes are concerned with the “sound” aspect of many of these same topics (i.e., learning to distinguish the sound of different chords and scales). 

Note: these courses are sequential, and the Eartraining and Sightsinging classes are required co-requisites. Also, the first- and third-semester courses are only offered in the fall, while the second- and fourth-semester courses are only offered in the spring. This means that music majors should enroll in the following:

  • Freshman year, fall: MUSI 1311 (Theory of Music I) and MUSI 1116 (Eartraining and Sightsinging I)
  • Freshman year, spring: MUSI 1312 (Theory of Music II) and MUSI 1117 (Eartraining and Sightsinging II)
  • Sophomore year, fall: MUSI 2311 (Theory of Music III) and MUSI 2116 (Advanced Eartraining and Sightsinging 1)
  • Sophomore year, spring: MUSI 2312 (Theory of Music IV) and MUSI 2117 (Advanced Eartraining and Sightsinging 2)

See also the degree plan.

Contact James Dering for more information.